Researchers tell us that we think 400 words per minute and speak about 125 words per minute. What those figures don't reveal is how many of those words are positive and how many are negative. All people can use the strength and power of positive words to enhance their lives. Positive words can be particularly helpful when we are trying to adopt a healthy lifestyle. Most people are not aware of the things they think and say on a continual basis.
Our thoughts and words have a powerful impact on our attitude and behaviors. The Journal of the American Dietetic Association reports that people tend to eat an average of 118 calories more per day when they are moderately depressed or anxious. If this impulsive eating continues, this amount of additional calories is enough to put on an extra 12 pounds a year!
To prevent this from taking place, you must first become aware of the words and thoughts that run through your mind every day. This means you must make a conscious effort to examine your thoughts and words. This is not an easy task! It takes concentration and determination to be cognizant of what you are thinking and saying, especially when you are not in the mood. What can you do to change the direction of your life?
There are some things that you can do on a daily basis that will make your words and thoughts more positive. The more you do these exercises, the easier it will be to make positive behaviors a permanent part of your life. Consistency and repetition will help make your lifestyle changes permanent.
1. When you wake up in the morning (and before you go to bed), write a list of 10 positive things about yourself. In the beginning, it may be difficult to complete this list. The more you do the exercise, the easier the process will get. If possible, list different positive things each time.
2. Establish a secret signal to yourself each time that you catch yourself saying or thinking something negative. Some examples could be snapping a rubber band, putting away your money or rubbing your knee. Do anything that will act as a wake-up call to stop the negative behavior.
3. Ask a trustworthy friend or relative to listen to you speak. Ask them to be honest with you whenever they hear you say something negative. Carry around a small tape recorder and tape yourself, so you can listen to what you say. Also, write down your thoughts and reread what you have written to see if you are being negative. Give yourself a reality check!
4. Learn how to breathe. Breathe from your stomach and exhale through your nose. Deep breathing helps to put energy and oxygen back into your system. When you are breathing, think positive thoughts. Create a mantra that works for you and repeat it while you are breathing. Here's one example: "I am a bountiful, beautiful person. I am healthy and full of positive energy." The more you work on establishing positive thoughts, the healthier you will become. Imagine you can control your destiny by living your life in a happy and healthy manner. Consistency and repetition will make your lifestyle changes permanent.